By: Natalia Dziubaniwsky
Toronto’s artisanal pizza craze doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.
New establishments offering time-honoured crispy and doughy pies seem to be popping up faster than I can keep up with. No complaints here though; in the name of the love of pizza, I will gladly scour the city to sample every new pie shop.
Masseria, a self-described rustic and classic pizzeria, has just come into the picture and has set up shop in Toronto’s trendy and hip King West area. Its southern Italian menu consists of a selection of oven-baked pizzas, salads and artisanal sandwiches made with quality ingredients. Masseria takes its inspiration from the Italian countryside. Its dishes and ingredients reflect these traditional roots, but with a modern casual take that fits right into its trendy Toronto neighbourhood.
Patrons have the option of ordering one of ten classic pizzas at the quick-service counter or creating a custom pie by picking their own toppings. It’s an open concept kitchen where you can see the ingredients and pizza-making magic right in front of your eyes.
I got a kick out of watching their team pulling and stretching the dough, then giving it a toss and spinning it into the air. This never gets old! Once the pizza has been assembled, it’s placed into their 850 degree wood stone oven and cooked to perfection in about 3 minutes time.
I LOVE a classic Margherita pizza and the one at Masseria didn’t disappoint. For me, the dough and sauce can make or break a pizza, and I was happy with both here. Their dough has a thin crisp to it, so if you prefer this over softer and chewier dough, this is the place for you.
Another pizza to note is the Boscaiolo with Portobello and oyster mushrooms, caramelized onion, pecorino and truffle oil. This pizza is so aromatic and the truffle oil just tastes amazing. I simply cannot say no to truffle oil.
If you’re looking to try something new, experiment with their “Carbone” or Carbon pizza which is made of an active charcoal crust. Apparently this makes it better for digestion (does this make pizza a health food or should I keep dreaming?).
In additional to pizza, you can also order salads such as baby kale Caesar and buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto and soppresatta sandwiches, and sides like polpette, marinated olives and prosciutto di Parma.
Aside from the food, I really like the decor and seating at Masseria – it’s modern but in a down-to-earth way. It has a long communal table which is quite fitting as its name means “farmhouse” in Italian; a scenic country barn where family and friends gather. If you prefer a quieter spot for people watching, take a seat at their circular table which features a large centrepiece of fresh basil by their street-front floor to ceiling window.
If you’re looking for a quick dine-in pizza fix that’s doesn’t at all feel like or taste like fast food, this is definitely a place to go. I can easily see this as a spot where people casually get together to catch up over food, or somewhere to go for a quick bite before heading for a night out.
Pizzas range from $14 – 20, salads $11-14; sandwiches are $9.50, while sides start at $6. Now open, Masseria is located at 577 King Street West in Toronto and is open from 11:00am – 10:00pm Sunday to Wednesday and 11:00 – close between Thursdays and Saturdays.
— Natalia Dziubaniwsky